[PREMIERE + Q&A] Madalen Duke Makes a Successful Comeback with “Run Boy”

Photo Credit: Lachlan Pedersen (@lockiepeds)

By Alissa Arunarsirakul // March 4, 2020

After a two year hiatus, Madalen Duke is back and bolder than ever. The Canadian pop songstress has finally regained her artistic independence and she’s not afraid to use it. As she rediscovers her confidence in the music industry, Duke is calling certain people out with her thrilling new single, “Run Boy.”

On “Run Boy,” Madalen Duke exclusive shared with us,

“Writing ‘Run Boy’ was a form of therapy for me. I was in a relationship where I was emotionally cheated on because my boyfriend was still in love with his ex. I didn’t stand up for myself at all. Writing this allowed me to express the anger I felt in a playful way.”

Seeking vengeance, “Run Boy” is an audacious effort by Duke and we’re absolutely soaking it all in. Having been through severe emotional wrongs, Duke channeled her anger to craft such a direct and heady track that says everything on her mind to the men who have wronged her over the years. Amidst the unforgiving tone, “Run Boy” features Duke’s charming vocals alongside ferocious bass lines that’ll leave you feeling invincible.

“‘Run Boy’ is me standing up for myself, and I hope he hears it. To me, ‘Run Boy’ is an empowering female anthem giving you a voice when you need it most. Just listen to the song and you’ll hear everything I want to say, it’s very direct.”

The Hidden Hits has your first listen of “Run Boy” below:

To celebrate the premiere of her new music, we recently chatted with Madalen Duke about her two year hiatus, therapy, and of course, “Run Boy.”

HH: “Run Boy” serves as an unforgiving warning to not only the man who has brought you so much pain and anger but also to all the men who have cheated us. What’s your favorite lyric from “Run Boy?”

MD: That’s tough, but there is one line that sticks out to me as a favorite. “You’re gonna curse the day you met me, I’m gonna make you regret me.” I love that line because it’s exactly how I wanted this guy to feel.

HH: How did you channel your frustration into such a sonically complex track? Where did the inspiration for the electronic elements come from?

MD: One of my favorite songs is “Blood in the Cut” by K. Klay. I love the sonic elements of that song and wanted to draw inspiration from that track for “Run Boy.” When writing this one, I wanted to be as honest and upfront as I could be. When I was in this toxic relationship, I didn’t speak up for myself as much as I know I should have. And so lyrically with this song, I wanted to say everything I should have at the time. I wanted to juxtapose the threatening dark nature of the lyrics with the fun upbeat sonic elements of the track.

HH: Would you say creating “Run Boy” has been therapeutic at all for you?

MD: 100%. That’s why I wrote it. Writing the song in and of itself was therapeutic but it also continues to have that effect on me. And I want people to take what they can from it, whether it’s therapy or a form of empowerment in using your voice, I just hope people vibe with it as much as I do.

HH: After taking two years off because of a management deal gone wrong, how does it feel to finally be putting out new music again?

MD: Feels fucking amazing. I am completely in control and able to grow into the artist I’ve always wanted to be. That’s how it should be for all artists I think. It was a blessing and a curse to have such a long hiatus with not releasing. During that time, I put the work in to find my voice. I should be able to put out what music I want, when I want. Now finally I can do that. 

HH: What were you doing to satisfy your creative needs during the hiatus?

MD: I wrote at least a hundred songs, haha–not even with any intention of anyone else hearing them. I wrote all the time as I was emotionally and mentally dealing with the whole hiatus. But I think more than fulfilling my creative needs, I really focused on developing myself as a person and as an artist. I think it takes most artists a long time to figure out “who they are,” and you can’t rush that process. I went through that and discovered what I want to say and what I want to represent, and those things weren’t in line before because I wasn’t the one making the decisions.

HH: How does it feel to have your music featured on Showtime’s Shameless and FOX’s 9-1-1? Did you watch those episodes?

MD: I did; I watched both of them! I was so excited. It was such a full circle moment for me. As a kid I always thought about the music in different TV episodes or movies etc. It was a goal I really wanted to accomplish, and I can’t wait to do more.

HH: As someone who’s been through a considerable amount of hardships in the music industry, what advice do you have for rising artists that have yet to launch their careers?

MD: Work the hardest for yourself; no one else will. Don’t wait for something to be handed to you – go get it yourself. Be truthful to you! Sounds cliche, but honestly it couldn’t be more important. It’s easy to get lost in whatever everyone else is telling you and it’s okay to listen, but know where you stand on who you are first. And learn from the best – surround yourself with people that are better than you.

HH: What are your three hidden hits?

MD: “Agnes Water” by Jamie-Rose, “Brief Pause” by On Planets, and “Rich Girl Mood” by Dounia. All so different, but so dope. I think they all possess an honesty in their music and that’s what I look for in new music. That resonates heavily with me.

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